The cast of “Red Rock Diner

MELANIE MINTY: Sing-along songs energize fun, ’50s-era musical at Surrey Arts Centre

Also: Deadline has been extended for Christmas Card art/word call in Newton

SURREY — Put “Surrey” and “Arts” together and you have a real winner. That’s my wheelhouse, and I love it. Just look at the Surrey Arts Centre and the Arts Council of Surrey. Once upon a time, keeping these two areas of operation separate was a bit daunting, as the Arts Council occupied a cubicle at the Surrey Arts Centre, courtesy of the City of Surrey – or “municipality,” as it was then known. It was confusing to outsiders to keep names and functions separated.

Now the Surrey Arts Centre is redefined, expanded and is home to two of Surrey’s civic theatres. With the addition of the new Centre Stage (part of the new city hall), the Main Stage and Studio Theatre at Surrey Arts Centre are now encompassed as Civic Theatres. Don’t go to the wrong location for your event.

Surrey Arts Centre, located in the northwest corner of Bear Creek Park, offers a great Main Stage theatre with ample parking (free), professional technicians, beautiful dressing rooms and other amenities that make many professional theatres jealous. A “civic theatre” it may be now, but for me the Surrey Arts  Centre is the theatre in Surrey, gallery included.

And I did have another wonderful experience at the theatre on Friday for the gala of the Arts Club On Tour’s production of “Red Rock Diner.” It was so much fun reliving the songs of the 1950s and tracing our own Red Robinson’s career. Non-stop energy, songs and more. Although the show is not a sing-along, I can tell you most of the audience was definitely participating. At the end of the evening, I heard something I have never heard before: audience members thanking the cast members! Thank you for a great show. And thank you, Surrey Arts Centre staff, for bringing in these great shows.

Check out all the great shows at the Surrey Arts Centre online. Quite a selection. If you still want to catch “Red Rock Diner,” it will be at my favorite (civic) theatre until this Saturday, Oct. 24.

The Arts Council of Surrey is now housed in the new-ish Newton Cultural Centre on 72nd Avenue, just west of King George Boulevard. This refurbished former fire hall not only provides offices for the arts council, it has a black-box theatre space, classrooms and a small gallery. It is a perfect place for the arts council, and it is the organization’s responsibility to keep the place operational, mostly through volunteer hours.

It is difficult to keep up with all the activities of the arts council, so it’s a jolly good thing they publish a monthly magazine called “Spotlight on the Arts.”

This full-colour mag, promoting the members of the arts council, is full of information. Copies are free. I get mine in both digital and printed format – and I share.

In the newest digital edition, I noticed the Christmas Card Art and Word competition.  The deadline has been extended to Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. All entries will be hung in the Newton Cultural Centre gallery from Dec. 3 to 19. Artists can submit up to three entries in 2D images (so it doesn’t have to be a painting); writers can submit three entries of 20 words (maximum) of prose or three entries of four lines of poetry. I’d enter the writing bit, but seriously, 20 words? I’m not noted for brevity.

Submissions must be done electronically, and only electronically. That’s the world we live in. Email them to info@artscouncilofsurrey.ca.

Surrey Little Theatre is my favorite non-city-owned theatre space. It is owned and operated entirely by volunteer efforts of members of Surrey Little Theatre. Even though they’re facing issues of relocation due to the widening of 184th Street, it is still full-steam ahead for this season’s productions.

Next up for Surrey Little Theatre is “Funny Little Thing Called Love.” This romantic comedy is actually four little plays cobbled together by a common theme. There will be four different directors – a new idea for the company. Seasoned director Helen Embry will mentor the four directors and help them along the way. For some, this directing gig is a new adventure and is a great opportunity for someone new to directing to get experience.

Auditions for “Funny Little Thing Called Love” are Monday, Oct. 26, and Tuesday, Oct. 27 (at 7 p.m. nightly). Anywhere from eight to 20 people will be cast for this show, so it’s a great opportunity to be part of a show and chances are you might well be cast! Check out the Surrey Little Theatre website for character analysis, show dates and other important details. Contact Brigette Seib at brigette.seib@surreylittletheatre.com if you are intending to audition. I’d tell you more, but have used enough words already.

melminty@telus.net

 

 

 

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